THE FEAR FACTOR OF ADMINISTERING CANCER MEDICATION TO YOUR CAT

Palladia

Apparently, I will be posting on occasion now.  What’s new for someone who sees quitting anything as the biggest failure known to humankind?

Since my short departure from blogging, my cat, Moush Moush, has had surgery at the specialty center here to remove as much of the myxosarcoma that has recurred after nearly 4 years of being cancer-free.  I mentioned this in my last post. Her oncologist said “recurrence” at our post-op visit and I was too worried to ask if he’s not suspecting vaccine-associated sarcoma now or not, as I’m not sure which is really worse. Regardless, she had an excellent surgeon again and he was even able to get clean margins from the area excised per the histopathology report, although he couldn’t get the necessary 3 cm margins in all directions and with soft-tissue sarcomas, getting clean or even wide margins is rarely curative.  This is what I haven’t figured out and am so frustrated by.

Due to the fact that Moush Moush already had an amputation 4 years ago, which should have been curative at this point, as well as her age (around 12 or 13), her oncologist and and I vetoed surgery that would have removed part of her body wall, including her ribs, to obtain wider margins underneath the cancer—again not usually curative—and we are passing on radiation, as it would involve a full month of M-F treatments, is again not normally curative, and is hard on pets.  I won’t even mention the cost of radiation, as I’ve already blown a good chunk of my savings thus far, not that I care when it comes to Moush Moush.

So, we settled on surgery to get as much of the cancer and clean margins as possible and then planned to start a new, cancer drug called Palladia that falls into the class of targeted therapy.  It is off-labeled in cats so no studies are available at this time.  In layperson’s terms, it works to kill the cancer cells by cutting off the blood supply and at the gene level it cuts the rungs of the DNA, per my blogging friend who is a biologist. Chemistry is all Greek to me! Unfortunately, it only works if the cancer has a certain gene, or was it genes, involved. However, if it works, it controls the cancer and what more could you ask for as Palladia has a rather safe profile, although Moush Moush will need blood work every 2 weeks for a month to make sure her kidneys and liver are okay.

Due to Moush Moush’s small size, the Palladia had to be compounded and I was told I could get a liquid with a flavor. Goodie.  Oh, I should mention I am giving this to her every other day all by myself, which seemed so great with my driving issues.  It arrived this Friday on ice packs at my request and the fear factor started when I saw the bag it came in—see photo above.  I did know I needed to wear disposable gloves when dealing with Palladia, even if in a pill form, and her oncologist’s assistant really stressed all of this to me due to my own health issues, which I disclosed this time around.  I decided midnight would be our set time and sat and stared at that bag with my crappy vision the rest of the day.

I started to get this sick feeling in my stomach that wouldn’t go away.  Everything I’ve read says this is not traditional chemotherapy, but her oncologist calls it chemo.  Even then, pets do very well with chemo and the low doses they are given.  It wasn’t helping as I counted down the time until I had to give Moush Moush this drug that has to work, but can also cause things like kidney failure.  What had I gotten myself into?

Midnight was drawing near, so I had a talk with my late grandfather, who I often talk to when things get bad.  I’m aware this is probably not normal and don’t really care.  My grandfather was tough as nails and also a stomach cancer survivor, which led to peritonitis after his GI tract ruptured post-op and a 3-month stay in the ICU on the brink of death 2 years before I was born.  Who else to talk to?  I like to think he looks over Moush Moush, not that I ever saw him around a cat in my life.  Being the strange person I am, I lit the Shabbat candles for the first time in years, but I only have one scented candle in glass so I hoped that would suffice. After all my bizarre rituals were done, I got my gloves on and got down to business.

I carefully got the lid off the bottle of the compounded Palladia after shaking it.  Oh, did it stink.  Was it the artificial chicken flavor or the drug?  I saw there was a plastic plug in the opening, which I presume was to prevent it from exploding in flight.  Well, it took 10 minutes to get that off with my stiff fingers and I was so afraid it would pop off and the liquid would fly all over me, but I went very slowly at the end and no spillage.  I noticed the liquid was mustard colored, almost like a bouillon cube.  Again, was this the flavoring or the drug? It’s not like Moush Moush equates mustard coloring to chicken, which she’s allergic to, hence my need to make sure this flavoring was artificial.

From there, I struggled to draw the thick liquid into the teeny syringe with the goal of not knocking over the bottle, which I’m known to do.  She takes 1 mL of the liquid and that was the entire syringe so I was freaking out that she’d never swallow all of this nasty stuff.  Per the assistant’s instructions, I grabbed some paper towels to hold under her in case she spit it out and headed over to her temporary bed under the table like the most evil person on earth.

I swear my hands were trembling at that point.  The clock had struck midnight and how would Moush Moush react? Would the Palladia work?  I won’t ever know unless it doesn’t, which is doing wonders for my nerves.  Would she get the GI side-effects I have to watch out for and then I’d have a toxic mess to clean up and if she did, could it just land on all the towels on the floor?  Oy vey.

I knelt down with the syringe and paper towels and held her head up and got the syringe into the side of her alligator mouth and tried to push on the plunger and nothing.  The liquid was so thick I had to push really hard to finally get it to come out and then came the awful sounds from Moush Moush—so much for the artificial chicken flavor.  It felt like it took 5 minutes to get 1 mL into her mouth, but I did it and her tongue and teeth were bright mustard, like I really gave her some radioactive substance that was glowing.

A drop got on the towel I have on her pillow and the liquid was on my gloves, but what to do with the glowing syringe? I had to rinse it.  Now the sink was going to be toxic and my gloves were a mess so I tried my best to lift the faucet’s handle with my forearm.  I rinsed off my gloves and wrapped the not-so-clean syringe in Kleenex and threw it in the scary, chemo bag where I’m keeping the bottle of Palladia.  I had a plastic, grocery bag ready ahead of time and took my gloves off inside-out and threw those in there with the paper towels and tied it in a knot.  It still felt toxic so I double bagged it, washed my hands for 5 minutes, and then took the bag to the garbage down the hall.  I came back and washed my hands again, but still hadn’t gotten rid of the fear factor.

Moush Moush was fine all last night and today, not that she’s taken this drug long enough to notice anything I suppose.  I now have a massive case of OCD, but if Palladia works, I’ll just add that to the long list of issues to work on with my counselor.

MM post-op

Moush Moush hasn’t played with her rats much in 4 years, but it’s rather odd that she chewed all the fur out on the side of the one on the left ions ago, so at least she has a friend with a similar look.  

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42 thoughts on “THE FEAR FACTOR OF ADMINISTERING CANCER MEDICATION TO YOUR CAT

  1. cissyblue says:

    Honey, my heart breaks for you and Moush Moush. I know Grandfather is there with you both. I almost lost my kittens last week because I gave in and allowed the rescue to give them both the vaccines. They are alive, but I fear we face exactly what you are going through. It is the vaccines, honey. It is, and the vet knows that, I pray that your sweet baby doesn’t suffer. You either. I will pray with all my heart for you. I love. you both so very much. You have my whole heart. I’m here if you ever need anything. I won’t ever forget– you’re always in my thoughts. May the Angels surround you both in constant watch!

    • Aw, you’re such a sweetheart, Cissy. I so appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I hope your kittens are okay and I keep checking your blog for a post on them. Moush Moush was only vaccinated in her scruff until 2003, and it may not have been every year as I can only recall one time when we were in CA (2003). I found her in ’01 and she was app. 1 year old. The initial myxosarcoma, not the more typical fibrosarcoma seen with vaccines (but similar cancer-wise), showed up on the side of her shoulder, so FAR away from her scruff. While cats can develop VAS up to 10 yrs or so after a vaccine, it’s more common that they show up within a few months (not 6 yrs later) and in the exact spot where they were vaccinated. Her initial cancer came from her shoulder JOINT, so the oncologist was not that confident it was VAS in ’09. Myxosarcoma is very rare so there isn’t a lot of information out there, despite having the top vet oncologist in the West (in my mind). He suspected this MAY be a rare type of VAS this round as a recurrence after amputation 4 yrs out was at 1% in his mind.

      Moush Moush has only had rabies vaccines since ’03 and in the hind leg and no issues. We’ll never know for sure, but I still am thinking it isn’t VAS and she’s just genetically prone to this weird and awful cancer (like some humans are–actually a common soft tissue sarcoma in humans). I’m praying she has the mutated gene(s) that allows the new drug to work. This would be curative. Btw, if any of your kittens get VAS, you can contact the vaccine manufacturer and they will pay for the vet bills/amputation if you can prove it came from their vaccine and are pushy. I’ve read many accounts of this online. Regardless, cat owners (as you know) need to know that indoor cats (especially if no other cats) don’t need all those unnecessary vaccines they want to give and if they are necessary, vaccinate as low down on the leg as possible. I lucked out with some good vets when we moved to the SW who knew this. Oh, microchips can cause soft tissue sarcomas, as well. Omg! She doesn’t have one, but they left a metal clip in her post-amputation and that is making me wonder about the recurrence 4 yrs out a it’s in the same location I believe. Soft tissue sarcomas come back 79 days after surgery (median time), although it can be a bit longer before they reappear, but 4 yrs is really unheard of–especially with VAS. This is scaring me to no end this time as she didn’t have invasive surgery as mentioned. It’s interesting that they’ve observed sort tissue sarcomas in humans with pacemakers and other foreign objects implanted in them. Hmmm.

      Long reply! Love your thoughts and insight as always. Hope you start blogging again, but I know about needing a break. I’m just going to post on an as needed basis now! Ha! I can’t handle any more stress. I’m here for you, too! No worries there. Let me know if you need help figuring things out with the kittens as I do medical research non-stop.

      XOXO to you and the kitties; hope you are as well as can be,
      A ❤

      • cissyblue says:

        Thanks, Sweet Pea! You are in my thoughts 24/7. I will definitely consult with you as time goes on. I have always been afraid of the implants as well (microchips). But your findings here cause me great concern. I can hear something in their shoulders “click” from time to time as if it is rubbing on bone… I don’t know, honey, it appears we should be lucky to be alive in any case… I am here for you as well, for anything… Always feel free to ask me anything. I may not know the answer, but sometimes together, we can find solutions that won’t hurt us. I hope that you have a market near by where you live, and that you can make it down there without too much hassel. I know you don’t want to leave Moush Moush right now (her pics have me in love with her!) but please take good care of yourself. Try to eat some clean fruit of some kind every day if possible, and make the mainstay of your diet with beans, peas, and greens. Always soak and clean them well. I know you know all this, but I can’t help but play “mother hen!” Also I would be very happy if you could get some “good” complex omega supplement, not prescription, as that stuff gave me terrible ingestion. It seems that the manufacturer uses the cheapest form of omega 3 which is known to cause indigestion. I am going to look for something coming out of Iceland or far far north… and I expect to get deep into my pocket as well… 😦 It is hard to stay clean in this environment we call America. It is startling to realize just how polluted we have become. More so for the young and the children. It is no wonder that our beloved animals suffer as well with the same problems. Count the moments, the seconds you have now, frame them in your memory to keep forever. Every breath, every kiss, every nuance of live is precious as none of us know when the curtain will go down. None of us. I love you honey, as much as I can, I send my prayers up every nite for you and Moush Moush, and so many others. I ask the Angels to help bring us out of this hell on earth. They help us in every way, I know that. So do the beloved people in our lives that have already gone before us. It is a spirit of love that we must capture and nurture to survive all of this. I truly believe in a better day. But it will not come easily nor quickly. There will most likely be much more suffering before enough people wake up and want things to change. When that happens, maybe our children will have a fighting chance, and they won’t face the horrors that we have. I could tell you in detail and at length what my exposure to poisons did to me as a child, as I still bare the scars. But it is no matter about me. It is for the kids and the animals and the earth that I am compelled to speak. And I think it is sweet and genuine, quaint and lovely, that you too search the boxes and dusty corners of the thrift stores for treasures. You too know the joy when you find a great designer, almost lost. I feel an especially light step when I wear something that has been re-sewn with love, brought back to life, instead of being wasted. You keep on going Sweet Pea. You’ve got years and years ahead, and hopefully so do I. I love to read your stuff. Keep writing! It is touching, human and very very beautiful! Kisses and hugs, from me in Tejas… Cissy

      • Thanks for your heartfelt comment again. You’re wise in so many ways. Being from Seattle, I grew up very healthy and was a vegetarian (not by choice, I just didn’t care for food with faces). In a rather poor, desert city, we don’t have anything like farmers’ markets because people here don’t care about their health (and there’s no agriculture, of course) and the organic food is extremely expensive and limited as everything is shipped in and I can’t afford it. Then, due to Ehlers-Danlos, my GI tract became intolerant to about everything and my former diet of veggies (lots of greens, too), fruits, nuts, beans, various grains, etc. went out the window. I ate a Mediterranean diet (minus the fish) for the most part and I can cook unlike so many people these days. I can have a couple fruits and a couple veggies and eat a lot of basmati cooked with olive oil and saffron and add a rice-based protein powder to my green tea and that’s about all I can digest. Terrible! I can’t take omega supplements as my faulty collagen affects my vascular system and I have horribly leaky veins and omegas are blood thinners. I couldn’t figure out why I had spontaneous black eyes until I learned that and it has helped by stopping them–even my cardiologist said I need to avoid all blood thinners as I still have major bruising issues and you can visibly see my veins in 75% of my body, which is just par for the course. It’s so hard for a health nut like me to live like this–aside from the disease itself. Well, at least I know my disease is genetic and not from this polluted world and I really suspect the same for Moush–that she was just genetically predisposed to getting cancer like many humans.

        Oh, you won’t believe this but people don’t even recycle here. It was so hard for me when I relocated and got stuck here a decade ago. I was so used to separating my plastics and metal, etc. Now it just goes in the trash. Ahhh! I don’t buy canned things, but it’s hard to avoid plastic containers. How ridiculous! I’ve heard you can get recycling if you have a house, but the company rarely picks up your containers! It’s so different here from super-healthy, fit, and eco Seattle and I really hate it. 😦

        Btw, I’m not sure what you’re hearing in the kittens shoulders. Maybe it’s something congenital as that does seem odd? Hope the vet working with you has any ideas. Well, I’m going to try writing on an as needed basis for now, but thanks for your compliments. 🙂 Glad I found your new spot finally! Big hugs…

        xo, A

  2. dyspatient says:

    Medicating cats is so rough! I know it was harrowing but it sounds like you did an excellent job taking care of your kitty. Max used to get Flagyl, which literally made him foam at the mouth (and make the horrible demon cat sounds). So awful. How long is she on this for?

    • I know! Moush jumps up while making the demon cat sounds and I have to hold her down. Then she barfed this morning, but I was up 1/2 the night and heard her coughing/sounding phlegm-y (asthmatic), which usually causes that so I don’t thinks it’s from the Palladia. It went right into her food bowl–gross, but easy to clean up!

      I opted for the liquid vs. the pill as I had that option w/compounding, and due to the taste, am rethinking that now. Shoot. She’s sooo hard to pill. I gave her Benadryl for her allergies a month ago (1 mL again) and she totally foamed at the mouth and was screaming. When I asked about flavors for the drug, tooty fruity was on the list (lol–so Benadryl), which I presume is for the human meds. No thank you!!! As this stuff is so thick, I used one of my syringes last night (dose 2 as e/o day) and it came out faster, but then we had lost some of it. Crap! What to do? If it works (please work!), her vet said she wouldn’t have to be on it forever, but the studies on dogs have this going out nearly 1 yr. In similar drugs in humans (like Gleevac), my understanding is you just take this for life. If it works, I won’t complain, but will have to think about the pill and need to reorder in 3 weeks. Did you ever have the issue w/pills? I’ve tried the pill shooter thing, which does nothing and she seriously has an alligator mouth. Then, she hides pills in her mouth and spits them out and I would find them later. Ahhh! So stressed. The fear factor was better last night, but even more got on her towel again and she had a mustard mustache. How much did she actually ingest? Great. :/

      • dyspatient says:

        My husband is amazing with pilling and medicating cats. He says pill, definitely better than thick liquid. I’ll see if I can get him to write a guest comment for you on pilling tips.

        I had some luck with Max….hard for me to pill him since he was bruiser. 15 lbs easily, and that was him in less than peak health. I eventually trained Max to associated treat with pill, which helped some…he was still tough to manage by myself though due to the size thing. But even with pill training and even when my husband was in our lives, bad tasting liquid was just right out, Max was like “not enough tuna or ham in the world folks (yack blach grrrrr mrrrohwrrrrggghhh)!”

      • Lol! Send Husband to the SW please! MM was 5.3 lbs after surgery (down from a big 5.8 lbs due to fasting and not eating after surgery), but I really have to hang onto her and she’s so skinny, too. She’s not a biter but she has this alligator mouth that is so hard to pry open and then snaps shut–so watch out. I used to try to brush her teeth after a cleaning–what a nightmare! Much worse than the med. She does still have excellent teeth 6 yrs since the cleaning! She drools and foams with pills (plus the groans), so I still swear this is better, but hate that the toxic med is all over her chops, towel, the ceiling, etc. Just kidding on the latter thus far.

        She’s allergic to everything (venison/pea Rx diet) so no treats which isn’t helping. Crap! The oncologist did say I could coat the pills in cream cheese, which would be OK, but I swear she’s too smart for that trick. She’ll suck it off and then spit the pill out–I know it! In the past, I’ve tried throwing pills towards the back of her mouth and then massaging her throat, which works 1/2 the time. She does go right for her food after the liquid to get rid of the taste, so maybe I could bribe her somehow. Hmmm. The strange thing is she lost her sense of smell yrs ago, so how can she taste things? Oh, think I mentioned that–has no clue what cat nip is anymore. Poor Moush.

        Well, thanks for any advice you can pass on. I’m still debating as she doesn’t drool or foam at the mouth with this at least. Nice thought.

      • dyspatient says:

        I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before….have you tried dried valerian root with her? It STINKS but cats do tend to like it and if she has even a bit of smell left, valerian is potent enough that she might respond to it. Not the oil, apparently, just the dried root. Here’s a blurb on it: http://www.examiner.com/article/cats-go-crazy-for-valerian-root
        I had some that I got from a local herb farm (where the girls who worked there called it “smelly herb”) and I had to keep it in a ziplock in a jar on a high shelf so Max didn’t find it and rip it to bits.

      • I’ve never tried that for MM, but she literally can’t smell anything. The vet said cats have very delicate sinus cavities and hers was just destroyed by that virus. My brother came from LA for Thanksgiving in ’06 or so and had to bring the kitten he and his GF just got at the LA pound. MM hates cats but his GF went to SF and he was stuck. The kitten started sneezing while here and right after they left, MM about died from this thing. So scary–I took her to the closest vet wrapped in a blanket she was so on the edge! The kitten is gone now, of course. I think she’s in NYC and she never had anything more than sneezers (what we call them as MM still sneezes from it!)

        I did buy valerian root (and 1/2 a dozen other herbs) from the bulk section at the health food store for the Night Stalker (sleep walker/insomniac). I don’t recall it stinking. Hmmm. Maybe I lost my smeller, too? Thanks for the info, though. The bulk herbs are super cheap so I’ll pick some up once she’s healed up a bit more. She’s back on the big bed tonight and I don’t want her flying off of there like she did w/the narcotic after her biopsy. OMG–I have no idea what they gave her, but she was like running in circles and then would pass out, then repeat. 🙂

      • dyspatient says:

        Poor little sweetie. I’m glad she’s back on the big bed! Hope the medicating is getting a little easier.

      • The medication was a breeze last night, but I don’t want to jinx it! Weird? I picked up some cream cheese but she just licks it and then loses interest–back to the no sense of smell. I should have spent $1 more on the whipped one. Crap! Always trying to save a buck. She got off the bed at some point last night and I woke up and she wasn’t there, so I got out of bed and she was laying on the sheet on the hard floor! No! I think she’s not great at getting up after 18 days now. I thought of that Oceana flight the 1st time I saw her jump up (with lots of crying before)–coming in too low like she almost missed the bed from the ottoman. If I can get her off the bed, we’ll work on take-off, which is like a crappy landing. Why did she have to lose her damn leg when this just came back?

      • dyspatient says:

        Could you build a little ramp out of something? We used to put things around for Max to make it easier for him to get up on his favorite “up” spots. Overturned boxes, she’s so light you could probably use cardboard. Just a thought. You’ve probably already thought of it though.

      • She’s always had a bench (pre-motel) and then a fabric ottoman to get onto the bed/back down in here. The bed is really high as I have a raised airbed on top of the gnarly, hard one in here, but she was fine before (3 yrs now). I saw her get up and then she wouldn’t, so I think she fell in the night trying and got spooked. We kept practicing last night (to little avail) and if I get her onto the ottoman, she’ll finally jump onto the bed, which is easy as it’s pretty deflated due to my achy body so even if all 3s don’t land, she can dig her claws into the blankets and get up. Now, it’s just how to get her onto the ottoman, which is so low! She even stood on her 2 back legs and put her front leg on it, which I’ve never seen her do, but she can’t pull herself up that way–she has to jump. I really think she just lost some strength from wandering on the floor and that’s the issue, so I told her that it’s all tough love and she has to learn how to do it again! Seriously–she had to learn how to walk again after the amputation! Argh! She can get down, so that’s good. Due to the 3-leg issue, she can’t really climb so whatever she jumps onto has to be stable (like hard w/a no slip surface–like fabric–as she doesn’t have any traction w/3 legs). Oh, I’d love a long ramp for the bed–Sheep mentioned that awhile ago too, but we have 300sf in here and little room between the end of the bed and the bureau. Ugh! Thx for the thoughts, though. Oh, I had to get my vitamins at the health food store tonight and no valerian with the bulk herbs anymore! Well, probably should stay away from anything weird with the cancer med. 🙂

      • dyspatient says:

        Good point about mixing herbs and meds. I hadn’t thought of that.

        I have to admit, “all 3s” made me smile.

        I understand wanting her to stay strong. I get it. It sounds like you’ve got things in hand. Give her a snuggle from me.

      • :). Will do. Oh, good news thanks to you thinking outside the box (box–haha). I forgot I threw the HUGE box from the new vacuum behind the recliner–nice and sturdy. So, I laid it on its side and wrapped a big towel around it to make it not so slippery. Good thing I have all these motel towels I don’t use. Well, MM wasn’t falling for the steps method last night so I had to put her on the ottoman and she jumped up from there, but I woke up before the alarm and she jumped down to eat. I re-set the alarm (my big downfall) and all of a sudden, she was back in the bed!!! Yay, D! So, now I have a motel room with no place to walk around, but c’est la vie for now. She’s so cute at night. She lays right by me and just stares at me and all I can see are her big eyes. Aw…
        Thanks again for the idea… I really didn’t think I had anything in here that would work! ❤

      • dyspatient says:

        Oh that makes me so happy. Years with a sick Max gave rise to so much…what my husband and I call Kitty OT. We even rigged up a water bottle at standing height because he was a tall cat and had episodes of weakness and couldn’t stoop to drink from his water bowl. The first time he drank out of it, I was like “let’s have a parade!” I was so happy. I’m really really glad MM used your kitty steps for her. 🙂 ❤

      • Caught this before heading off to bed! I’m the same as you, even though I sounded so mean before with my tough love. Oy vey. I was thinking you must think I’m a monster, but you read my big post so you know I syringed food and water into her mouth to keep her alive after the amputation (with the virus it was MONTHS). I really am that way in real life where you just have to be tough (I kept telling her, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself,” but if MM were weak like Max, it would be a total different story. She’s so great right now I’m in semi-denial land that anything could go wrong. Argh.

        So, when a cat becomes a tripod as they’re affectionately called, their remaining front limb turns into the Hulk as it’s supporting the whole upper body. MM has a really beefed-up leg and her foot is HUGE (muscles in a paw?) and when she stands, her foot–the white sock–looks like a ball. It’s very odd, but of course I tell her she’s the most beautiful cat in the world as I don’t want her self-esteem to suffer. So, I think in 18 days she de-bulked a little, like how I haven’t used the crappy gym here in 2 weeks. I think once she keeps jumping up and down, she’ll get it all back and we can ditch the huge box. 🙂

        I do get super excited when she gets onto the bed and praise her like crazy, too. I think we’re just crazy cat ladies! It’s so sad to hear about Max and the slow decline. I hate that… I even hate it with older pets. 😦 Oh, I ran across a man in the reader last night (now I look under cats!) and I had my contacts in as I had an appt. earlier so I could see! He’s Israeli and a photographer and is enamored by cats. He had a very interesting post about becoming reclusive like a cat when he’s dealt with illness and a current problem: being Jewish on WP. So familiar to my story! He has all these photos of cats in Jerusalem, where he lives, and had the best post where he and his cat are having an intellectual conversation about the cat not wanting a neighbor cat to tag along on their walk that leads into other topics. Love it! I have more to explore on there. He left a comment on my About page, so if you feel like seeing cats that speak Hebrew by a real photographer, there’s a link on his Gravatar. Very interesting artist-type with a charcoal cat that is skinny like Moush. Long comment. Yikes! Have a good day while I go to bed… 🙂

      • dyspatient says:

        Excellent! I’ll check out his blog. You crack me up. I don’t think you’re a monster. I totally get the rehab for the leg thing. I also get that she needs a little help right now maybe while she’s on the meds. She still has to jump or scramble to get up, so she’s not doing nothing. Ok now I have images of her on a treadmill like Jamie Summers in The Bionic Woman. LOL!

      • Oh, phew! I was so pissed they didn’t have cat PT after the amputation as they do have it for dogs, but they put them in water and they walk in it or ?. It’s not like you can really get a cat to do things or go near water! Lol. She is the Bionic Cat! I don’t know how I thought of those rubber, drawer liners yrs ago that I lined the floors with. That’s how she learned to walk again and so cheap!

        Oh, MM is having zero problems with Palladia! Well, she doesn’t get her blood checked for 1.5 weeks, but everything seems A-OK and the oncologist was right that her allergies might get better as it has an immunosuppressant effect. She was on pred yrs ago for her skin allergies, so that’s my big experience with pilling her (awful). The freaky thing (again) is that the markers on the syringe are coming off from dipping it into the Palladia! There is a risk of bleeding ulcers, so now I’m the poop inspector looking for signs of that, but I swear there’s pain thinner in that stuff. Wondering if the liquid, which is rather OK now per Moush, gets absorbed quicker than a pill, which would just sit and pose more risk of ulcers? We can give her meds for ulcers if needed, but the markers on the syringe thing is creepy. Good thing I take a liquid med. myself and have extra syringes! Yikes–the fear factor. As long as it works…

  3. Such a beautifully written post again. So happy but sad to read that post. That picture of MM sleeping with her little rats is so touching. Love how her little leg is stretched out in front of her. She looks so vulnerable there poor little girl.

    Wish I could have jumped right into that post and helped you open that thing! Can’t imagine how all of this must be difficult for you. So sorry you have to go through this awful thing with MM. I am however crossing my fingers and hoping that it will do her good.

    You’re an amazing mamma to MM. Lots of love of us, A. xox

    • Aw, Sheep–such nice thoughts. Moush always sleeps like that or in a donut (all tucked into a circle). Actually, right now she has her 1 front leg stretched out in front of her (sometimes she blocks the light with it) and I’m keeping her on her floor bed until Fri. to be extra sure everything is healed–that’ll be 3-weeks post-op. I always say that she’s all arms and legs when laying down (arm and legs?)! I WISH you were here, ugh! Why did the pharmacy not attach a ring to that plug? I was trying to use some sewing scissors, which then got contaminated and I was about to lose it as I’m not the most patient person in the world. I have NO idea how I got that thing out of the bottle and w/o it spilling. Phew! Moush seems to be doing OK (2 doses now as we’re e/o day), but I think she’s eating less, which is one of the side-effects. Crap! I think she has a permanent aftertaste from the drug in her mouth, so debating if I should even attempt the pills with the next order (so hard to pill her). I just keep saying, “If this works and doesn’t make her sick, I don’t care what I have to deal with.” I so hope so.

      I was going to pop by today and see how you were doing. I had PT so mad dash as usual. I so hope things have mellowed a bit and I’m not sure what happened with the new bird? Poor Sheep. I have this sick, low-level anxiety right now as the tumors are gone, she has the med, and I don’t know what’s going on at the microscopic level. I wonder if that’s how you feel–like this sick to your stomach feeling that sort of comes and goes. At times, I can live in denial land as I’m not the sick one, but I can never do that with myself so it’s new to me, even if it only lasts a few mins. I think you only have a couple weeks until your job starts and so hope that will be a good thing to take your mind of stuff for awhile.

      Let me know what’s going on. Btw, this was the fastest post I ever wrote and I figured I needed more posts so I have a place to blab. Haha.

      xo, A

      • Btw, did my post come through in paragraphs (like with spacing)? Since I last posted earlier this month, the box where you type changed in that the font is now an odd blue and there are no big spaces between the paragraphs. It looked OK on my end when after my 25th + edit (lol), but it came though the reader w/o a break between the 1st two paragraphs as that was all I could see. I wish WP would stop changing things as I can hardly wear my contacts (oww) and it’s not 20/20 on here for sure.

        Well, if you don’t mind letting me know, I’d appreciate it! Don’t want to look like some weirdo here. Lol! 🙂

    • Sheep,
      Where art thou? Ça va? Come out of your shell… I miss you! I hope things aren’t terrible on your end, but I suspect so, unless my tough love really made you mad. Sorry! 😦 La pauvre. La pobrecita. Poor Sheep on the other side of the world from me (almost).
      A xo

      • Hi A. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂 I think about you every single day. Wondering how you are doing.

        Am trying hard to come out of my shell but I’ve also been doing constructive things. I changed my Jeep (which was crushing me financially because of the cost to drive it) for a little Honda Civic LX. Would you believe it took everything for me to contact my bank and make all the arrangements? It’s crazy – don’t know why the simplest thing is so complicated for me. I have a ton of papers to get through and need to do that before I start work next week.

        Am worried about Gen because she got some sort of bronchitis and I don’t know where from because she hasn’t been out of the house. Last night she wouldn’t come out of her room because Leigha had a friend over who had a cold. I’ve decided to leave masks in the entrance along with hand sanitizer for Gen’s sake… How normal is it that she gets so sick???

        We got a call from Halifax for Gen’s appointment with genetics. Should we go??? I’m afraid they won’t know what they’re talking about. Scares me to death but then I need to tell them how I feel and if they off I’ll tell them they are. We saw the ENT and Gen may be losing her hearing… Anyway, things only seem to be piling on. I’m scared. Just scared.

        Trying to take all this lightly just to cruise through it because things we won’t get anywhere with anymore stress. I just wish I could wake from this nightmare…

        No news from little Blakey. 😦

        How’s MM doing? And you??? Hope there is no adverse reaction to the meds…

        I promise to post soon. Sometimes I have these crazy ideas about how people think and they make me laugh. Think I will go there – could be fun!

        xo

      • Oh my! Well, I was hoping you were just busy or whatnot. Good news on the new car and yes, little things are stressful because our plates are overflowing. It’s normal! My car has been paid off now and it’s such a stress reliever. I’m so sorry Blakey hasn’t come back, but Bird Man thinks he can make it out there if that helps.

        I can’t remember if you saw the doc in Montreal again or not. Regardless, if you could get him to write a letter to the geneticist, I think you would do better. I’ve spoken with Canadians in B.C. and everyone was Dx’d, so I have no idea what the issue is in Halifax/E. Canada? It does seem that Gen is a rather complex case and really would do best with Dr. F in Baltimore. Did she get the MRI yet? I saw on Katie’s blog that there are only 2 upright MRI machines in Canada (!) as she needs to be tested for Chiari/cervical instability now–just see her latest post. Ugh!

        What’s with the hearing issues? I’ve never heard of that with EDS? Could it be from the neuro issues? Oh, you so need to go to Baltimore. I now you have your new job starting up (yay!), but please consider the help from your friends in Montreal to travel for a consult. It may just answer everything and then you’ll know where to go from there. I heard Dr. F writes a 20-pg report afterwards!

        MM is doing very well with Palladia from what I can tell (thanks for asking), but now she hates it again! She can’t decide if she likes it or not, but I left a note for D on here (maybe at her place?) that the markers on the syringe have stripped off from that stuff! Holy paint thinner, which I presume is why there’s a worry about bleeding ulcers. I just hope it’s working. Sigh. It has cleared up her allergies as her doc suspected it would do, so it would be so great if she has the genetic mutation, it works, and we can go back to our normal life. I just can’t deal with this horrid disease and my little Moush Moush, who’s back on the big bed and very happy…

        Talk soon! xo

      • OMG A. Here in New Brunswick two little boys of about 4 and 6 lwere killed by a boa constrictor last night during their sleep I believe. I know the kids and the mom who is Leigha’s best friend. It’s so awful. The news of course got it all wrong – at least I’m sure of it. Not going to write this on there but wow. This is so unreal. Why?

      • Omg! So sorry! What’s with all the exotic pets up there, not that birds will kill you. Tell Leigha I’m sorry. 😦 I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I’m still working on that one. Sigh…
        Hugs, A xo

      • So happy it sounds good for Moush Moush (except of course for the paint thinner part which is really scary if you ask me). I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that she’s back on the bed with you. 🙂 🙂 I can imagine how happy she is about that. Poor little girl. Hope you’re doing OK. I’m just disconnected because I’m feeling so overwhelmed. Too much to take care of…. Would you believe I posted? check it out!

      • Thanks, Sheep! I know how you are when you get overwhelmed–we all deal with things in our own way.

        The med. is creepy, hence that post, and I’m so happy that MM is okay with it. We see the oncologist next week for labs to make sure all is okay with her organs from it. It’s just so hard not knowing if it’s working! She seems fine–like she’s on the mend. The incision (rather odd–but wide excision) is looking less keloid-like, her fur is coming back in. I just want the medicine to work or for her to be that rare case that beats the odds with soft tissue sarcomas. Sigh.

        Glad you posted… Off to read it. I was working on one yesterday when I had my lenses in and overdid it and am a swollen, blind mess today. Argh.

  4. prysmatique says:

    I’m so sorry to read about all the struggles you and your kitty cat are going through right now 😦 I hope the Palladia works for both of your sakes and that Moush Moush will be alright.

    I really have not blogged in a while – the CXL didn’t even disrupt my life that much, but not being able to wear my contact lenses for 4 months (I can’t get the 2nd eye operated on until 3 months after the 1st, and no contacts for 1 more month after that) has REALLY killed me. I can’t see anything even though my glasses help me “see.” I don’t think you’ll need further explanation, because you understand exactly what I mean =/

    I’m trying to get back in the swing of things now – blogging was cathartic for me, and a place where I could drop my OCD’s and grammar lessons a little bit to let loose. I have really missed it to the point that I have been narrating my life’s events as blog content in my head nowadays. It’s very silly but a definite reminder and nudge back towards WordPress.

    Moush Moush’s got my prayers ❤

    • Thanks, P!
      I kept checking back on your blog but you HAD disappeared it seemed. I get super OCD on here so now I’m blogging less! OMG, I have never been able to wear contacts and it’s awful. My VA has been all over and that crappy corneal doc’s assistants never got it right. I think it’s down to 20/60 or so post-CXL. I did get a lot of VA back/less ghosting as I was around 20/100 pre-CXL. I’m still glad I got both eyes done at once, which is rare for a doc to do, b/c I was losing a line every 6 wks on the eye chart. Yikes. That’s all b/c I got this from EDS and am not a normal KCer like you!

      I have a good optom now and we’re trying scleral contact lenses, if you’ve heard of those (can work for the lens intolerant), but I need a change in Rx from the trial pair and my eyes are still so dry and hurt from wearing them so I only wear them when I have my appts. and whatnot. Rather sucky. The sun sensitivity post-op is still a nightmare–will this ever go away? Argh.

      Well, glad your sort of back on WP! I know you have the next surgery and I can’t see squat from glasses, but I do know how to blow up laptops now if you need any tips (well, Windows w/Chrome). That’s how I get by on here. Things are super scary right now with Moush Moush, but I’m being a cautious optimist that she has the mutated gene and the glowing, semi-chemo med will work. PLEASE WORK!

      I’ll check back with you to see if you’re blogging away again… Take care and thanks for dropping by!!!
      A 🙂

      • prysmatique says:

        I don’t feel any sun sensitivity, that’s strange. I honestly think I had the most smooth CXL ever compared to the stories I’ve read. I hadn’t heard of scleral lenses, probably because the normal RGP lenses worked so well that I never needed to research beyond them. It was pretty irritating to my eyes at first but a few weeks into wearing them daily, I was wearing them from 7am until nearly midnight sometimes with no problem.

        I’ve been blowing up everything to be able to function. The most annoying thing is being able to work. Or lack thereof. Very hard to see properly and most of my work is editing text. I haven’t gone to work since my surgery, and just work from home where I can stare at my laptop and blow things up and not feel judged or frustrated.

        YES fingers crossed that the glowing chemo will work ><

      • I think all my post-op issues are from EDS as I scar like crazy and am very slow to heal. Sigh. It affects my collagen (which is how I got KC). I have very dry eyes from another condition so no typical KC contacts for me. Sclerals are HUGE lenses that have a vault that goes over the cornea and are filled with saline solution by moi (you don’t even know how hard it is to get them in staring down at the counter), so they bathe the corneas in moisture, but the rest of the sclera/lids, etc. are bone dry still, even with drops. I normally stick ointment (like Vaseline) in my eyes all day–talk about crappy vision!

        That’s terrible that you feel judged and frustrated at work! I’m glad you can work from home at least. I’m already on SSDI (disability) due to the EDS, so what do I have to lose?! So tragic. I really have an education and had a career until I got sick at 27. So, the KC was just the icing on the cake.

        I just left you a message at your place, but hang in there. This too shall pass and you’ll be on your way to grad school and the rest of your life and forget all about CXL and at least no transplants in your future!
        A x

  5. rachelmeeks says:

    That’s crazy how she chewed the fur off her rat. Poor kitty cat. It sounds like giving her the medicine went sort of ok though. My vet’s been asking if switching my cat to liquid meds would be easier, and I just thought it’d be impossible, but you described it very well! Almost like a step by step. Maybe I will give it a try.

    • It’s actually much easier if your cat is hard to pill. Oh, the rat had its fur chewed off years ago, so rather odd. She lost interest in her rats after her amputation 4 yrs ago–the BIG cure–but I pulled them out for her recovery and no interest then, either. Boo hoo. Poor Moush Moush lost the fur on the side of her face (by her mouth) from the chemo recently, has sores on her lips on the side I give it, now has a GI bleed from it so on 3 doses/day of a liquid ulcer med that looks like Mylanta, and her whiskers are falling out! Oh, I hate this disease and just pray this med is working. I’m so sick from the monsoon that won’t leave and then this so called cured disease for 4 yrs with her that popped up late June. Do we ever get a break or any good news? Ugh. Anyway, I’d try the liquids, but Moush’s has to be compounded which is a whole other can of worms. :/ Good luck and I’d worry less if not chemo b/c I’m dealing with a toxic spill if anything goes awry. You can do it!

  6. Sheesh! You just can’t catch a break! I’m so sorry you and Moush Moush have to go through this on top of everything else.
    My old kitty is such a huge comfort and support, I’ve had her since I was 4 and we’re attached at the hip, so I can only imagine how awful this must be for you. 😦

    • I know; can I just get a break in a good way? Moush Moush is all I have left so this has been just awful! She’s still on her cancer med and holding steady after dealing with loads of side-effects, but nothing is considered curative as the drug is so new (no studies on felines) and the surgery is rarely successful. We’re at about 70-days post-op so in the danger zone and high anxiety at my place… Just hoping she’s the one who beats the odds. :/

      Give your old kitty lots of kisses from me!

      • You’re both going to be in my thoughts like mad until I hear some good news (which I told – or politely threatened – karma was a must). Keeping my fingers crossed, what troopers you both are.

      • Thanks, Katie. The scary thing is we won’t ever really hear good news, unless we don’t. Moush Moush was essentially cured via an amputation due to this same cancer 4 years ago and then the same rare cancer showed up on her body where her arm was. Her oncologist is stumped, especially so far out, and it’s just awful. Thanks for all your thoughts because we need all we can get…
        xo

  7. Lex says:

    Just wanted to say, I came across this post & it made me feel quite hopeful for my cat, just starting his Palladia. I didn’t know it could be compounded into a liquid- my cat’s notoriously hard to pill. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Very encouraging.
    Wish you the best.
    -Lex

    • Wish you and your cat the best as well, Lex. Per the compounding, the manufacturer had it on back-order and we had to go the pill route several months ago, but the pill (split) is so small, it’s much better and my cat has less side-effects so a win-win. Glad Palladia is an option for your cat, as well…

      Fingers crossed,
      A

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